Isle MP calls for flood defence funding rethink

Flooded land between Althorpe and Keadby.
Flooded land between Althorpe and Keadby.

An urgent call for a complete rethink about flood defence funding was made in the House of Commons this month.

Speaking during a parliament debate on the subject Isle MP Andrew Percy mde the call and also asked for changes to policy to prevent even more pressure being put on flood-prone areas of the country.

Mr Percy told the Bells that he has made securing investment in the region’s flood defences a priority and that there has been significant government investment locally, under both the current Government and the previous administration. This follows extreme flooding across North Lincolnshire in recent times, including in the Keadby and Althorpe area.

The investment has involved £1.8 million for flood defence strengthening and recovery works in Burringham, £80 million towards 18 major flood defence schemes in the Humber region and promises of funding for a scheme between South Ferriby and Winteringham Ings, as well as many more localised projects.

Mr Percy said: “I was pleased to be able to speak in this debate to reiterate what I have been saying for some time about the need for a whole rethink of how this funding happens.

“All Governments have seen a record of increased flood spending after an event, followed by reductions, and we need to break this cycle.

“e also need to end the policy of getting water from the upper catchments to the lower catchments as fast as possible. We are at the bottom for several rivers, including the Aire, Trent, Ouse and Dutch River, which then flow into the Humber. Subsequently, this policy puts great pressure on what is already one of the most flood-prone areas in the country.”

He added: “It is really important that people are also educated on ways to better protect their own homes. The Environment Agency cannot guarantee that flooding won’t occur and we are seeing record rainfall events, which seem to increase on each occasion.

“The Government has committed to review this and I will be following developments closely. I would like to stress though that whatever happens to the wider funding strategy, the funding we have already secured for our defences, including the £80 million over the next six years for the Humber and its tributaries, will remain and I will continue to fight for our areas defences.”